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The Great Depression in America

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Introduction

By the end of the First World War America was regarded as the most powerful and richest country in the world. In the 1920�s the United States economy was booming. This is a period of prosperity, when the country�s economy is doing well and the people are sharing in it. This period was known as the 'roaring twenties�. In this period many jobs were made more secure, many families had more to eat, electricity was widespread, many people had more leisure time and most had more money to spend. This essay will show why the United States economy boomed in the 1920�s. A long-term cause of the American boom in the 1920�s was America�s natural advantage and regional diversity. America was and still is today full of resources like oil and coal. America had great regional diversity with each region contributing something different to the economy. The South is a farming region that brings in food it also includes the State of Texas which is full of oil, the East Coast was the richest part of the USA it bought in a lot industry as it had many factories and businesses. The Mid-West was another mainly farming region with some prosperous cities such as Chicago and the last region was the West Coast. The West Coast was the newest part of America. It was newly developed and was growing rapidly. ...read more.

Middle

Another cause of the boom was the 'American Dream�. America had a great supply of labour at this time, many immigrants came to America believing in the American dream. This was the idea that you could arrive in America penniless and become a millionaire, if you worked hard enough. They provided cheap labour for many businessmen and factory owners. Many labourers thought that if they worked hard enough they would live wealthy lives. In actual fact this was not true, by them working harder their wealthy employers got richer. Their businesses also improved and this was even better for the American economy. The government exploited this idea and made people actually believe with hard work anyone one can become a millionaire. They did this by putting up clever posters and advertising one of the posters said 'Is your work so carefully done it would satisfy you if you were the boss? You are the boss of your future.� The harder the workers worked the more and better products their factory produced making their employers and the United States very rich. Another short-term reason for the boom were the new industries in America. Americans loved new products such as the automobile, by 1929 twenty-three million people owned cars. A massive programme of road production began, this produced jobs and made many people rich. Another important factor which allowed new industries to develop was electricity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unemployment did not fall, the percentage of people unemployed in 1929 was the same as in 1920. There were many whites but an even larger amount of African and Hispanic Americans that did not take part in the boom. This was damaging for the boom as it was consumer led. In conclusion it is clear to see that the basis of a boom is production and consumption. When a country is producing and its population is consuming there is money flowing around its economy. It can be seen that the most important long-term cause of the boom was America�s natural strength. This is because if America did not have its resources it would not have exported goods during the First World War and not have taken over its trade competitors� markets. The producing part of the economy would be non-existent and half of the cycle of prosperity absent. It is also clear to see that the most important short-term cause of the boom was the Republican Party and their policies and Laissez-Faire attitude towards business. This is because they lowered taxes and so people could spend more and they made sure people spent it on American goods. They did this by introducing tariffs making it expensive to buy foreign goods. Without this the first part of the cycle of prosperity would be non-existent. The key to a boom is a country consuming and producing and these two causes largely helped this. Whilst this essay shows it is clear that the American economy was booming not all Americans benefited from it. ...read more.

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